Connect with us

Capitals News

FIRST LOOK: Former Capitals Goalie Samsonov Takes Ice For Maple Leafs



Washington Capitals goalie Ilya Samsonov.

Former Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov is set to turn the page and begin the next phase of his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and he’s getting started with informal skates ahead of training camp.

The 25-year-old has officially taken the ice for Toronto and appears to already be working with the team. He also revealed a brand new setup and new paint job on his helmet as he transitions to his new club.

From the looks of it, Samsonov is still with TRUE Hockey and revealed his new blue and white color scheme on his pads, blocker and glove. His new mask features the Maple Leaf up top and appears to be mainly blue.

The Russian will battle for the starting job with Matt Murray this season, as Toronto changed up their goaltending tandem this offseason. The Leafs let Jack Campbell walk, and signed Samsonov to a one-year, $1.8 million deal while acquiring Matt Murray and picks from the Ottawa Senators in June in exchange for future considerations. Murray, 28, has two years left on his deal at $6.25 million. Campbell ended up inking a five-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers.

READ MORE ON WHN: Washington Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin Brought Family With Him From Russia

Samsonov is coming off a rough few years in Washington and had a rocky 2021-22 with a .896 save percentage and 3.02 GAA through 39 games. He did finish the year as the playoff starter, where he posted a .912 SV% and 2.97 GAA in five games.

The 2015 first-round selection hasn’t been able to exactly live up to expectations and has struggled to find consistency. And, over the last two seasons, the Capitals gave him and Vitek Vanecek the net and believed one of them would take the reins and establish themselves as the full-time starter. Neither of them did, leading them to revamp their goaltending this summer. Washington traded Vanecek to the New Jersey Devils and didn’t qualify Samsonov, who hit the market and left for Toronto. The Capitals, meanwhile, brought in Darcy Kuemper as their new starter and also signed Charlie Lindgren to be the new backup.

Going into the new year, it looks like Samsonov is ready to make a statement. However, he does face a challenge against Murray and will be under a lot of pressure in the Six.